The Wildcats will host the Northwest Conference Track and Field Championships on April 22 and 23. All eight schools in the conference will gather to compete.
To participate in the conference championship, each athlete had to qualify in every event.
Linfield athletes compete in the Rich Allen Classic, which was hosted by George Fox University, on April 16. Here, runners and field competitors had an opportunity to earn a spot in the blocks at the championship meet. Both the men’s and the women’s teams placed first in the meet.
“It was the tune-up we needed going into conference,” junior Clayton Cooper said in an email. “A few more individuals were able to qualify, which should help us score more at conference.”
The men’s team performed exceptionally during the meet and won 10 out of 18 events April 16.
Senior Michael Eldredge earned his spot in the championship blocks for the 110-meter hurdles. He is one of many Linfield runners who has dealt with injuries.
“This season has not gone the way I expected it to. I have had to deal with injuries putting me out of practice for a few weeks, but after speaking with the coaches, all I have to do is rearrange my goals. Since it is doubtful I will succeed in the 400 hurdles, I just have to go out there and run my heart out, leaving nothing back,” Eldredge said in an email. “My main goal now is to do the best I can, but in the 110 hurdles I may actually have a chance to win. I have not lost my speed and technique, so I am hopeful in that race.”
Junior Barrett Zetterberg won the 400-meter hurdles and qualified for the championship meet. Sophomore Lester Maxwell won the 800, and freshman Bryan Takano took first place in the long jump.
The women also took first place in the meet, with first place performances by senior Brooke Bekkedahl in the 400-meter hurdles and freshman Anna LaBeaume in the shot put and discus.
The first event of the championship meet begins April 22 at 2 p.m.
“I am very excited for this weekend because I feel that everyone has been getting better each week, and when it comes to race time, I have a feeling that Wildcats will surprise the conference,” Eldredge said in an email. “I am expecting this weekend to be full of upsets and accomplishments and am really excited to show that [the] ’Cats have heart. Fans always change the dynamics of a track meet and fire up the athletes.”
Corrina Crocker/Sports editor
Corrina Crocker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.